National Catholic Register

Culture of Life

Why Do Catholics ... ?

What is the difference between All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day?

BY The Editors

October 23-November 5, 2011 Issue | Posted 10/14/11 at 12:39 PM


All Saints’ Day is a solemnity to honor all saints of the Church. In the early days of Christianity, only martyrs and John the Baptist were celebrated on specific days. More saints’ feast days were added as canonization processes were established. Pope Gregory IV (827-844) established this feast day to recall saints’ holiness for the entire Church, according to The Catholic Encyclopedia. All Souls’ Day, on the other hand, remembers all the faithful departed; the Church on earth prays for the deceased.

Have you always wondered about some aspect of the faith? Or maybe you’d like to know some trivia about Pope Benedict. If you do, email us your question at and look for the answer in an upcoming issue.